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“The logic of partnership is crucial: economic revolution cannot be a monologue, it should be based on dialogue” - PM attends conference on economic revolution

09.10.2019

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in a scientific-practical conference, entitled “What needs to be done: Economic revolution - understanding and implementation.” During the conference, a book of the same name was presented, where the results of scientific studies and ideas of Armenia’s leading economists are presented. The previous conference, referred to as “What needs to be done -1?” was held last November. It focused on economic revolution’s ideological and conceptual prerequisites.

In his welcoming speech, the Prime Minister emphasized the fact that this series of meetings is becoming traditional, covering not only purely economic, but also other related issues. Nikol Pashinyan noted that discussions of an economic nature are important from the point of view of brainstorming, as they give a lot of energy to the ideas of economic development and the development of the state as a whole.

“It is important to note that the opinion is increasingly being expressed that psychology and mood are becoming increasingly important factors in the economy. In the modern world, more attention is paid to these realities, that public moods, public expectations, aspirations are of much greater economic importance than sometimes dry numbers and combinations of numbers. These discussions are important for us precisely to create these moods.

We constantly emphasize that it is not necessary to distinguish between the terms “economic development” and “development”, because This is the same. At the heart of the development of the Republic of Armenia we see, as we have said, individual efforts, individual approach, perception and mood.

Such discussions are very important for improving this environment and atmosphere, strengthening the logic of cooperation, because cooperation and dialogue are important factors that provide psychology and mood, which, in turn, have a big impact on the economy.

I think that 2019 and the current economic situation, the indicators we have available prove the truth of this thesis, namely, moods, expectations and atmosphere are essential for the economic situation. A good mood for economic activity has really formed in Armenia, and our main task should be to strengthen this mood,” the Prime Minister said.

According to the Prime Minister, there are regulatory imperatives, supposed to expand opportunities for economic activity and create equal conditions for business entities, which can be useful in order to understand the most accurate and effective way. Nikol Pashinyan noted that he had read the book back in July and wished everyone a fruitful discussion.

During the conference, reports were presented on a new vision of the socio-economic development of the Republic of Armenia, the prerequisites for the economic revolution in the Republic of Armenia, an increase in the quality of public administration, the influence of the shadow economy, the development of institutional, agricultural, educational and scientific systems.

Prime Minister Pashinyan referred to the steps aimed at combating the shadow economy, and emphasized the importance of the logic of partnership: “Here we have good and bad news. The good news is that the International Monetary Fund recorded in a recent report that as a measure to reduce the shadow economy, if the tax-to-GDP ratio in Armenia moves forward by 0.3 percent per year, then this can be considered a great success for Armenia.

According to forecasts for this year, today we have increased the tax to GDP ratio by about 1.2 percent, that is, four times more than the IMF recommendation noted. Of course, at the end of the year, the pace may change somewhat, but I would like to say that there are obvious facts that show that we have unprecedented indicators in the shadow economy.

There is also bad news regarding the behavioral component. This year, as part of the celebration of Independence Day in Gyumri, the city was visited by 15,000 people, there was no place in restaurants and cafes, which indicates a huge economic movement.

I went shopping in Gyumri on September 21. It came as a surprise to me that as many receipts of cash registers were printed as in previous days. The total volume of trade increased by 10 million drams, but the total number of printed checks did not change. This is really bad news.

Speaking of partnership, I mean just that. Of course, our respected businessmen in Gyumri knew that the tax service would go idle on that day. The government initiated such a large-scale event, which was an unprecedented opportunity for Gyumri enterprises, the results of which are still visible, but the business must take a step or a half-step. Is not it so? The logic of partnership is very important: the economic revolution cannot be a monologue, it must be a dialogue. However, this example shows that business does not even take half a step towards the Government’s efforts,” the Premier pointed out.

According to him, in the first 10 months of 2019 as compared to the same period last year, 85 million more cash register receipts were printed in Armenia, which indicates a positive trend.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also touched on the importance of human capital, potential, labor market, market economy and a number of other issues in the implementation of economic activities. Speaking about the rules of doing business, the Head of Government noted that the rules for both the public administration system and business are very clear.

“In my opinion, the rules to be complied with are as follows:
- do not steal. This applies to both government officials and business, because a businessman who does not print a check steals, just like a government official who steals some of the money that came from these printed checks.
- Be more effective in managing your business and spending public funds.
- be an innovator.
- be ready for cooperation.”

Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the tax benefits provided by the government for entrepreneurship (including for border settlements), educational reforms, the development of partnerships between government and business and other topics.

Describing discussions like that as quite effective, the Premier emphasized the importance of organizing them regularly, as well as expanding the participation of expert circles with the aim of generating breakthrough ideas.

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